Monday, March 19, 2012

Welcome Guests

Last week when I pulled into the bike shop parking lot I parked in my usual spot next to an aging and beat cherry tree.  Even though Time and the harsh elements of Maine have had their way with this tree, it still produces profuse bundles of inedible berries.  Inedible for me anyway.  Sour and nasty in my opinion.  But the birds love them.



I am used to seeing birds there and hardly noticed the large flock busily rooting around in the muck under the tree.  One bird fluttered down landing in a spot of sun that had managed to pop through the tangled mess of the untended branches.  I looked at it and did not recognize it.  Damn.  I pride myself in knowing the various animals that inhabit my region of the planet.  I took some quick pictures so I could identify these pretty birds later when I got home.

Turns out I had good reason to not know these avian travelers.  They are about 1500 miles from their normal stomping grounds.  They are Bohemian Waxwings and supposedly they do not travel much further east than Idaho.

I am no hard core bird watcher, but I do like to keep track of the various birds that come close enough for me to see.  It is a true pleasure when I spot a bird I have never seen before.

I wondered why this flock was so far from the western climes they normally hang in.  I had some guesses, but none of them seemed to make sense.  I tried looking it up.  I guess I just was not using the right key words.  I came out with nothing about why they may be east of Gish.  I did find out though, Bohemian Waxwings are not threatened.  Their populations are healthy and they seem able to coexist with us filthy humans. 

Some things do not need explaining.  Some things should just be enjoyed while they happen and catching a glimpse of this very pretty bird is one.  I won't read any climatic reason into their appearance so far east.  I won't assume human environmental travesties have caused them to range further than they usually do.  I will just enjoy their company while they are in town.

Later...........................

8 comments:

Randal Graves said...

That's a hell of a side trek.

Kulkuri said...

The Old Lady saw a white pelican in Lake Superior which is a little North of its normal range.

Maybe the birds acting strangely can explain craziness in other areas like politics??

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I've never seen one of those before..beautiful

BBC said...

They are Bohemian Waxwings and supposedly they do not travel much further east than Idaho.

I've lived in the west all my life and don't recall ever seeing one, but no self respecting bird is going to live in this fucking rain forest anyway.

The Blog Fodder said...

I hope some birders read your post and can give some answers. They are a long way from home turf.

okjimm said...

cool birds. I wonder if they would taste good in a white wine sauce?

Demeur said...

I've seen a few around here but they tend to be grey in color. Their migration patterns can vary depending on whether there's berries during the winter.

I'm not that up on my bird species but I like to watch the bald eagles we have around here. We even had a nest next door some years back.

Mauigirl said...

Just saw your post - Cedar and Bohemian Waxwings look a lot alike - here is an interesting post about them in case you are still checking these messages. I can't tell from your picture which one they are though, they sure look similar! http://10000birds.com/cedar-waxwing-vs-bohemian-waxwing.htm